The Novartis Social Business (NSB) mindset is one of continuous learning, adaptation and sharing. We share achievements as well as dilemmas and challenges, and we foster dialogue with the global health community. Given the magnitude of healthcare challenges, we know that only multisector coalitions, built on transparency and trust, can bring about sustainable solutions.
For instance, measuring the outcomes and impact our programs have on people’s health has been (and still is) a challenge for our company, and the pharma sector in general. We know several of our programs have brought health education and services to places where these were previously nonexistent, but we are still mainly measuring outputs, not outcomes.
Accelerating impact through measurement and evaluation (M&E)
For the past three years, we have been working with Boston University (BU) School of Public Health to build M&E into the core of Novartis Access. In particular, we conducted a baseline study with BU to evaluate the impact of Novartis Access in Kenya.
The study produced several important findings, including that the poorest are located in “medicine deserts,” where a lack of competition leads to higher prices. We also found that most noncommunicable disease (NCD) patients in Kenya purchase their medicines from private sector outlets – more accessible for much of the population but where prices are on average higher than those at public outlets.
The M&E framework developed by BU is accessible online, and it is starting to gain recognition as an industry standard.
We are now applying this framework in Ethiopia, as part of our partnership with the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) to help decentralize NCD care.